Lihle Dlamini, LinkedIn, Women In Marketing
Women In Marketing

Women In Marketing Interview | Lihle Dlamini from Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency

“So often we say ‘YES’ to opportunities given to us because we do not want to seem ungrateful, or we do not want to lose the opportunity. We’re taught to say yes, even when we do not know how to do something, told we can learn it later, and though this is true, by doing this, we sometimes fail to take into consideration the consequences this might breed”

Lihle Dlamini

Lihle is the CMO at Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. A dedicated and highly ambitious marketer, Lihle is optimistic about the future of Travel and Tourism during this difficult period. She lets us in on her journey for this segment of Women In Marketing

THE JOURNEY TAKEN 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career in marketing? How’d you end up at Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency?

I am the Chief Marketing Officer for Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism, having come from the Marketing and Communication Director position at the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), a position I occupied from October 2013 till June 2019. 

Lihle, Women In Marketing 2
Lihle at the Lilizela Tourism Awards
Source: Supplied

I was previously employed in the capacity of the Head Communication and Public Relations at Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) from 2008 till 2013 which was preceded by being Senior Manager Marketing and Communication at Isett Seta from 2004 till 2008. From 2002 till 2004 I was Senior Manager: Learnership and ETQA Department at Isett Seta.

I gained my experience from various sectors like education, tourism, banking, training and marketing. My experience is supported by sound and relevant academic qualifications, which include an MBA, Honours in Industrial Psychology, a Degree in Communication, a Global Executive Development Programme with GIBS and other short courses. 

I guess I can say my love for travel and tourism brought me to the Eastern Cape and getting into Marketing was just by chance or fortune. I was headhunted by the Technology SETA (ISETT SETA) to head their Learnership and ETQA departments, setting up the Learnership department and managing the ETQA department – two huge portfolios.

At some point, the two got separated and I was left in Learnerships where we successfully turned things around and started growing from strength to strength (It was at this time that I was approached by Microsoft and offered an opportunity to be one of the 15 people to represent Africa at the EMEA Conference in Austria). 

Upon successfully setting up the Learnership Department, the CEO felt the organisation needed to set up a Marketing and Communication Department and he offered me the opportunity to do so, and I did,  successfully so. From then on, my passion for Marketing coupled with my love for travel and tourism set me on a journey that has landed me at the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.

You have accumulated an envious amount of experience having worked for top-tier companies such as Standard Bank, Stats SA as well as SANBI. What did you learn from these roles and how do you apply experiences in your current role at Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency?

The most important lesson for me has been learning to respect people irrespective of their positions because everyone in an organisation has an important role they play and their contribution, no matter how small, means that the other person might not be able to do their work without them.

Listening to those around you, understanding their perspectives and learning from them, recognizing them goes a long way when working in a team. This is especially true in marketing, where we need to be cognizant of a number of different viewpoints and how one might react to a marketing initiative. And always, always learning. The world we live in is always changing, and we need to be able to adapt to it.

At ECPTA, I have met new people that I am learning from. I am using my ability to think creatively and the flexibility that comes with it to stay relevant and making sure I adapt to all the changes that continuously take place around me. I am using my ability to think outside the box and seeing projects to fruition thus making the difference to the organisation. I hope that this will result in changing people’s behaviours, attitudes and perceptions on the destination.

You obtained a MBA at De Montfort University (girl you fancy!). In an article written by Glassdoor, it has become seemingly easier to apply for work at companies such as Google, Apple and Starbucks as they do not require applicants to have a degree. How can young women utilise the internet to upskill themselves particularly if they cannot afford to obtain a formal education?

In today’s world, most young people have access to smartphones, and where they do not, they have access to public libraries and computer labs where they can access the internet.

A number of universities offer free short courses online, one only needs to pay a small fee for the certificate at the end. Platforms such as GetSmarter and UDemy offer short courses in an array of skills from IT and Coding to Scriptwriting and Photography. What I love about these courses is that you can create a portfolio for yourself that you can present when applying for jobs. They also do not take up a lot of your time, so you can be working while upskilling and preparing for your next role. 

Companies like Amazon take on coders and various other IT specialists who are self-taught, one just needs to do the research to see what is out there. I think as we are in the 4th industrial revolution, it is important that we all equip ourselves the best we can with what jobs will look like in the future and familiarize ourselves with the tools to do these jobs.

They can also teach themselves from most of the free courses now online. They can learn from the experiences of a very diverse group of highly experienced people from different parts of the world without necessarily having to meet them, this is what 4th IR has enabled.

What made you fall in love with the world of marketing? What particular moment in time pushed you to pursue this as a career? After all, we all wanted to be Doctor’s growing up, right?

It’s as if you’ve known me for a long time. 

Growing up I actually wanted to be a dentist, I still remember the composition I wrote, I think I was doing standard 10, it was all about being a dentist. Anyway, the universe had other plans. One of the things I have always wondered about was understanding the human mind. I have always been fascinated by the decisions people make and wanted to get into their heads, have a better understanding of what informs their decision making, especially when it comes to buying things. 

I wanted to know why they make those decisions, why the book with the caricature on the cover and not the one with a photo, even though it has the same title, little things like that show you the differences in people, what appeals to them, what doesn’t, what kind of person they might be. I was told as a child I loved the question ‘WHY’, why are you buying this or that and not the other? Knowing the little things that make people different helps you understand how to sell to them, how to win them over, and I guess my love for psychology and marketing sort of intersect at this point.

It’s the continuous opportunities of innovation, brainstorming, mentoring and coaching spaces that I find myself in, the research to keep up with the changes that are taking place in the world especially in terms of technology. Endless opportunities for growth and understanding that marketing is about people.

It is a diverse and creative profession with a lot of possibilities. Understanding people in general and people as customers and their important role in the products I market. Getting to know customers’ passion, their needs and wants and why and how they make the decisions they make when it comes to purchasing products or services at their disposal.

Working and meeting new people and learning from them. The ability to think creatively and innovatively and the flexibility that comes with it for one to stay relevant and make sure you adapt to all the changes that continuously take place around us. The ability to think outside the box and seeing projects to fruition, making the difference to the organisation, contributing to the bottom line and changing people’s behaviours, attitudes and perceptions on the products I am marketing.

ENTERING THE WORKPLACE

What does your typical day of work look like? How does your calendar look and are you a coffee or tea kind of person?

I started a habit years ago where I drink a cup of coffee in the morning to kick start my day. 

It kind of gives me the edge I need to get my brain working. So, this habit has stayed with me till today.  Right now I am working from home and each day begins with a cup of coffee just like at the office.

I have the busiest calendar I want to believe, no day is the same. Currently, everything is taking place online, my day is filled with juggling between meetings with team members, our stakeholders and the executive committee meetings. I also attend to day to day job-related issues.

Forbes has an annual ‘The World’s Most Influential CMOs’ report. For the year 2019, one of the key highlights from the report was that 31 of the 50 CMOs were women whilst there were 19 men. In your opinion, is this a positive representation of gender equality?

Women and men vying for the same jobs, the better-suited person getting the job that is equality, however, there is still a long way to go.

Women In Marketing Interview | Lihle Dlamini from Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency 1
Women In Marketing Interview | Lihle Dlamini from Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency 2

Gender equality in our workspaces does not mean that there is an equal number of each gender in the space, it means that people are being hired based on their ability to do the job and to execute it well. If the numbers mean that more women have been seen to be better suited to execute the role of CMO, then I am proud to see us succeeding and being recognized for our achievements.

I am happy women are dominating and I hope the number grows.

COVID-19 has been a disruption to a number of organisations. So much that several businesses, small and big alike either having to cut down on staff or being forced to close down. On the same token, however, several organisations have used this time to regroup and use this as an opportunity for change in structure and processes. How has your organisation and specifically, your department, countered against the impact brought by the pandemic?

In tourism, these days you have to be on social media platforms to sell/market either your product or your service, this costs less and therefore many people are choosing to cut out the middleman.

So, technology on one hand may have brought relief to a lot of tourists who are techno-savvy but on the other hand, has and will continue to cause job losses in the tourism sector. Those who have not yet started, need to start looking at other avenues of providing services in the tourism sector, as the arrival of COVID-19 has expedited the redundancy of some roles.

As a department, we had just completed drafting our new strategy 2020 – 2025 and were about to start with the implementation thereof after having submitted our annual plans and gotten them approved.

When COVID-19 happened we had to hold back on implementation, reviewed our plans and we ended up with a recovery plan that looked at Connectivity: with travel restrictions and gatherings disallowed we had to quickly move online to keep the destination top of mind, our recovery plan focuses on digital marketing incorporating virtual tours. 

We thought if people can’t come to the province we are taking the province to them through virtual tours, this with the understanding that everyone is on lockdown and they are spending their time on their mobiles;

Sustainability: we pushed for utilisation of graded accommodation establishments for quarantine and isolation purposes.

Support: shared with the industry information on access to tourism relief funds and compliance with protocols, we have created platforms for product owners to showcase their products on the virtual expo. We have also created videos for YouTube and other social media platforms.

Systems around remote work and video conferencing are increasingly becoming a staple to most organisations. To illustrate this, according to the infographic created by Visual Capitalist, Zoom is now worth more than the 7 biggest airlines in the world at a whopping market capitalization of just over $40bn. Working from home/remote working is an aspect of modern-day work that has been long overdue. Why do you think most organisations who are seemingly able to convert to this way of work have struggled to convert? Furthermore, how have you and your organisation structured your work since the COVID-19 pandemic? Any key lessons?

I think for a long time as a people we continued pushing analogue in a digital world, totally ignoring the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).  When COVID-19 happened, it kind of flipped the coin and most of us were found wanting.

Visual Capitalist Graph, Women In Marketing
Image source: Visual Capitalist
Data source: Barchart

One day things were all well and good and we woke up to the pandemic and quickly had to adjust and the first thing we did was to recognise the existence of 4IR. 

Personally, I think we lived in an abnormal environment and it became our normal hence we now talk of ‘New Normal.’ the abnormality of our environment being the inequalities that we live with and a lot more. To answer your question, the power of social media will definitely impact us.

Right now there are companies that are wondering why they have to spend money on offices when people can work from home, this pandemic is seeing us think out of the box, seeing things differently and it is very interesting to witness, ‘what a time to be alive’.

ECPTA like all other organisations have had to adjust, we started working from home to keep employees safe. The interesting thing is that I find I work more at home than I did at work. We have kept our schedule of meetings through Zoom or Microsoft Teams, we continue to deliver as planned to a point where we had planned on having stakeholder engagements and we are also doing those through Zoom.

Storytelling seems to be the next rising buzzword. What’s the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency story? How are you telling it in an interesting way?

It’s interesting that you ask this question because in our new strategy Storytelling is the focal point of everything that we do. 

With our unique culture, we believe there is a lot to talk about. Our value proposition for the new strategy is ‘ECPTA, connects people to authentic experiences’, very much in line with the storytelling. We want to tell people the story behind our culture, who we are, how we live and how we do things through tourism.

It’s different from other cultures, add to this the experiences we are marketing through the tours. Storytelling is an integral part of any marketing campaign, it assists in building your brand, building trust and it opens up conversations about the brand. 

In olden days storytelling was part of educating young people, they would sit around the fire and listen to old women telling them stories about life and other important issues based on their experiences and how they grew up. So, when it comes to marketing, tourism communities can also play a major role in telling their stories to tourists. 

The Tourism Tiger website has an article that talks to this under the topic Marketing Evolution, this is what they say,

With the evolution of the prosumer (a media consumer and producer), it is increasingly difficult for companies to make a splash. No longer driven by loud calls to action and brazen marketing tricks, overexposure has meant we are hardened to the failsafe techniques of the past. It is estimated that there are 600 million devices running ad-block software — and the message customers are sending is clear.

Businesses need to do more than solve a problem with their product: consumers are calling out for something deeper. This is where storytelling comes into the picture. An authentic narrative fosters an emotional response, builds customer loyalty, and creates the idea of a travel ‘experience’. Going hand in hand with destination marketing, enriching your website through narratives and stories is the simplest way to forge a connection with your customers, bringing your destination/product to life.’

They further state that storytelling goes beyond marketing and conversion rates — stories help forge a relationship with your customers. Discard any marketing noise, cut straight to the core of your business, and share your passion.

Stories carry us on journeys — an authentic narrative has the power to convey the beating heart or your business and position your brand. Authenticity is the new self-promotion. The fewer gimmicks and tricks you use — and the more humanistic your approach — the likelier you are to succeed in this saturated market.  So, in our value proposition when we say ‘ECPTA connects people to  authentic experiences’ our approach is to use storytelling as the main driver of our campaigns.

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

What have been some of Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency’s biggest successes in marketing over the past 12 to 18 months?

Come to think of it I am not even a year at ECPTA but it feels like I have been here forever. 

I love my work and that makes things easy even when there is too much to do, my passion keeps me going. So, when I joined, ECPTA was in the process of developing the 5-year strategy 2020 – 2025, I came at a time when the past 5-year strategy was coming to an end. This was great news for me because it meant I am going to be part of developing this strategy and see it to the implementation.

I remember I started on 1 July 2019, it was on a Monday. A day later, on 3 July I was on my way to Port Elizabeth on a stakeholder engagement meeting where I had to present to stakeholders on the development of the new strategy, challenges we have and getting them on board ECPTAs plans and getting their input. 

Since I joined the organization, we have been able to make strides towards the establishment a ‘Convention Bureau’ which focuses on Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events – known as a MICE section – this will go a long way in putting destination, Eastern Cape, on the map and ensuring that we secure conferences in the province, which will increase business tourism. 

This was as a result of the collaborations and partnerships we initiated as the ECPTA with both private and public sectors. We were able to get a clean audit, which has been happening for the past 5 years, most organisations struggle to achieve this but we have worked hard to make sure we achieve it.

We have been able to review our logo, now we have a new logo – both corporate and destination logo that was presented to the Board and approved. We were planning to launch these two in May, however, COVID-19 happened and we had to put it on hold. With our recovery plan which has a focus on smart marketing, we have since managed to share it with some of the stakeholders and we are currently planning a digital launch to take place sometime in July.

At the time of publishing, an article from The Digital Marketing Institute estimated that the influencer marketing industry will hit the $10bn mark by 2020. Whether it is B2B or B2C, it is evident that brands and organisations have had their own success with this model of marketing. How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect this industry going forward and do you believe there is still a place for influencer marketing?

The industry is badly affected already and not all tourism businesses will be able to bounce back after lockdown as we speak. This has already resulted in huge numbers of job losses and closing down of businesses. The problem with tourism is that it is dependent on social interaction and this pandemic wants social distancing hence to this day tourism is still not operating. 

There will always be room for influencer marketing, remember, this is talking to an already captured market which lessens the burden of trying to reach bigger numbers at the same time. The problem at times is that the focus tends to be only on celebrities whereas there are many ordinary people who have been able to carve their use of digital platforms and transformed their lives as influencers and they have done a great job. 

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Travel Apps are my favourite, I always make sure I download them to read more about the countries and cities I am planning to visit. Apps like TripAdvisor and CDC TravWell help me plan for my trips.

With TripAdvisor, I know what activities I can do in the cities, how much I would be spending, the best-rated restaurants etc., and with CDC TravWell, I know about any causes of concern where I am travelling such as diseases that are prevalent and which shots I should get before travelling. Add to this WhatsApp, TedTalk, UberEats and TakeALot, my banking APP is also part of this lot.

Are there any recent/upcoming influencer marketing campaigns you would like to share from Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency?

We had a campaign beginning of the year where we partnered with South African Tourism and hosted Cassper Nyovest (one of SA top artists)  in the province in Port Elizabeth.

As an authority tasked with tourism promotion of the Eastern Cape, we are always looking to profile the province’s offerings in fresh and exciting ways, attract tourists to the destination, build the destination image and promote the authentic experiences of the Eastern Cape.

Initiatives like these help us to access relevant market segments and through partnering with our colleagues at South African Tourism who pioneered this initiative with Universal Music Group that represents Cassper, we had an opportunity to tap into the massive following of influencers and celebrities like Cassper so as to showcase the unique Eastern Cape tourism offerings to their fan base and followers.

We were delighted to welcome him and the team to the Eastern Cape and wished the memories made with us echo for many years to come.

What’s your mobile strategy? What have you found works and does not work for your target audience?

The main thing here is understanding the new tourist that live on their mobiles.

If as a product or service provider you are not on that mobile, you are like a product that is not on the shelves in any shop, no one will know about you and therefore no one will buy you.

With the pandemic preventing us from having tourists coming to visit us, as ECPTA we worked on a recovery plan which is basically to take the province to the masses and reminding them of what they are missing out. The idea was to take the province and what it has to offer to the masses in the comfort of their own homes, knowing that everyone is on lockdown and spending most of their time on their mobiles.

We aim to leverage and maximise the user experience over multiple digital touchpoints in order to create a seamless online user experience and to strengthen our brand expression and effectively showcasing offerings.

Strong social media graphics and the use of media-rich content is always a great way to rather show than tell your story. We are also harnessing the power and credibility of user-generated content and believe that the traveller is the best brand ambassador as they have the first-hand experience of what is on offer, how, where and when.  Video has shown to be a great tool for us to showcase our unique Eastern Cape offering and narrative.

A great focus for the next year will be to connect people digitally to experiences (especially niche markets to niche content), optimising the user’s online experience and to create exciting and appetising content for travellers to explore and potentially convert them into visitors.  

What do you see as some of the major trends in digital in the next 12 to 18 months?

The buzzword these days is ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ and as you know it is also referred to as the biggest disrupter of all industries and sectors in the world.

However, I do believe there is a lot of good that comes with the technological changes we are experiencing. In fact, I think Technology and Tourism are joined at the hip. If you look at the tourism industry, for instance, technology has become the biggest enabler of all times.

It has created what I call the ‘NEW TOURIST’. These are the people who live on their mobiles, they will seek and find information on their own at the click of a finger, looking for travel specials, information on what to do, how to get there, where to go, what to see and a lot more. And all of this happens on the go in real-time.

Gone are the days of landing in a city with a printed itinerary from a travel agent. Technology has made it possible for the new tourist to look for information as and when they need it, upon arrival in a new city or in the back seat of their cab on the way to the hotel. 

The New Tourist can scroll through their social feeds or a travel app and be assured that they are getting the most current information.

Technology has also served the service provider too, there is no longer a need for product owners to wait to advertise in magazines or through travel agents, apps ensure that travellers know their flight and accommodation specials as they are released.

Travel bookings are now done online through various devices (smartphones, tablets, iPads and laptops), and because of this technology, as soon as a tourism product is open, this information goes live to the consumer and the entire world within minutes. 

Download the ECPTA Travel app Today

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Apple App Store, Women In Marketing

2020 AND BEYOND

What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information? Physical book vs eReader?)

For a long time, I read motivational books. Reading motivational books has been a healing for me, these books have helped me deal with all the hardships I have been through from abuse, bullying and other life challenges that have at one point sent me to the darkest places.

But then it is said that, at times for one to get back up, one has to hit rock bottom, and you bounce back stronger and wiser.

That has been my life’s journey. 

With regards to what I am currently reading, I have just finished ‘Betting on a Darkie’ by Mteto Nyathi. I have just picked up an interesting book by Shonda Rhimes titled ‘Year of Yes‘ that will be my next read., I thoroughly enjoyed Mteto’s writing style and all that he chose to write about, it showed that it’s not about where you come from that determines how far you go in life, and in achieving your goals but it’s your determination, hard work and your attitude that will help you achieve what others deem impossible. 

It also shows that it is possible for one to live a balanced life – a lot of people struggle with this to the detriment of losing their families or loved ones in the process of trying to achieve their dreams. It’s quite an interesting book that I would encourage people to read. I bought a kindle a few years ago, I travel a lot and would take books to read, which meant extra luggage. So when the Kindle was launched while I was in London I bought it, and now when I travel, I carry my kindle.

What is on your Netflix watchlist/How do you relax?

I love investigative movies, so, when I sit down to watch a movie, I make sure I have my popcorn and my investigative mind because from the start I am fully involved in resolving that case and am definitely going to find the culprit. 

As a person who loves love, I also watch a lot of those movies, they have to have a happy ending though. This year I watched ‘When they see us’ I cried throughout the series, I have never seen anything like that, it’s so sad that it’s a reality and not fiction. On the other hand, it highlights the issues black people have and still are faced with. It makes me question our criminal justice system and wonder if such will ever come to an end because to this day we are still experiencing this. Add on this list ‘Queen of the South’, ‘Blood and Water’ to mention a few.

A unique message for all young professionals in the marketing industry

The most important part of our job is to understand what the customer wants and the most difficult part of our job is that customers are highly opinionated, unlike before, they now have an opportunity to provide feedback in a split second and in most cases to the entire social media community. So, whether the feedback is good or bad it’s out there and that can make or break your product or service. 

This means that you’ll be able to build relationships with your customers through your content, your content, therefore, is key. Normally I hear people saying knowledge is power, and I always say power is in how you use that knowledge, so, use it wisely so that your customers can benefit from it.

The most important thing is to block the noise from haters and naysayers. Those people will poison your soul, focus on the prize and those that respect you because if they do, half of the work is done, remember respect is earned, so, you must have done something right to earn their respect.

What haven’t you solved? What challenge is on your plate?

What legacy do I want to leave and fully live my purpose

Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read

Noni Kubheka

Any bucket list items (professional as well as personal)?

Professionally, I want to complete my PhD at some point, I got my topic approved and was side-tracked by the GIBS opportunity that saw me do the Global Executive Development Programme. Upon completion, I stalled and moved to the Eastern Cape and I put that on the back burner. 

Personally, there is also still a lot of travelling I would like to do. I have had a chance to travel to a lot of countries for both business and pleasure, to learn about different places, cultures, people and this little bit that I have been able to experience makes me want to experience and learn about so much more.

COVID-19 has seen us having to put personal travel on hold and cancel our plans to attend a number of events and expos, hopefully, we are able to see these events back on our calendars in the near future. 

Who are some of your female heroes?

My Mom – may her soul rest in peace, the strongest loving, warm-hearted woman I have ever known.

She passed on last year (2019) October. When she passed on it was like the Baobab tree had fallen. My paternal grandmother (the only grandparent I knew) another strong woman, the disciplinarian, high on love, respect, manners and how a lady behaves (I can write a book).

My daughter Naledi Ngcobo, as young as she is, she is a strong woman, with a mind of her own, loving soul, a hard worker and strong-willed, always reminding me to take care of me (number 1), you can’t pour from an empty cup Mom, she will say.

What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?

I think for a long time as a people we continued pushing analogue in a digital world, totally ignoring the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), when COVID-19 happened, it kind of flipped the coin and most of us were found wanting. One day things were all well and good and we woke up to the pandemic and quickly had to adjust and the first thing we did was to recognise the existence of 4IR. 

Personally, I think we lived in an abnormal environment and it became our normal hence we now talk of ‘New normal.’ The abnormality of our environment is the inequalities that we live with and a lot more.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best was from my Dad (may his soul rest in peace), and it’s ‘The Power of NO.’ 

So often we say ‘YES’ to opportunities given to us because we do not want to seem ungrateful, or we do not want to lose the opportunity. We’re taught to say yes, even when we do not know how to do something, told we can learn it later, and though this is true, by doing this, we sometimes fail to take into consideration the consequences this might breed.

My father taught me to say NO, where I am not sure, ask if I can think about it, have time to consider the pros and cons of saying YES because it is so much easier to come back from NO than it is to take back a YES. People also respect you for wanting to have time to think about it, to not make a rash decision. Once you have said YES, that is a promise and you need to be able to keep. NO gives you the time to decide if it is a promise you will be able to keep.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

What I do better than others is simply being me (authenticity), that’s the only unique thing I have, ME, and there is no other. It is about me doing my best to be better than I was yesterday, it’s about competing with the person in the mirror and falling in love with her every day, it’s about knowing that I am God’s masterpiece blessed beyond measure.

My secret is in my dignified resilience and grace (my cousin Tumi, tells me I got it from my grandmother), being a fighter. It’s all in the power of my quiet strength. In fact, I always say if I were to write a book about my life the title would be ‘The Power of a Quiet Strength.’

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Head of Relationship Management at naughtybanana. I am a father to an awesome boy who thinks highly of me; perhaps I'm doing something right after all. When I'm not establishing new business relationships, you might catch me reading a book or of course, being an awesome dad.